The grand opening of OB3B is a major milestone in Justin and Jenni O'Brien's journey — a story that started with their love for the town of Soddy-Daisy.
Set to open Friday, O'Brien's Brew, Bits and Bites (OB3B) was designed to be more than just a restaurant. The couple is aiming to create a space where the community can gather for all sorts of reasons, as well as making and buying artisanal crafts.
Like their business concept, the O'Brien's path to achieving their dream has been somewhat unconventional.
"We're 'go big or go home' type of people," Justin said. "We poured our life savings into this. We sold our property that made us fall in love with Soddy-Daisy to begin with because we needed the equity to start the business."
A modern-day "Brady Bunch" family, with three boys and three girls from previous marriages, the O'Briens have lived a roller coaster of events the past 11 months to make their dream a reality. Part of that ride included living in an RV at various times. And when they weren't working on the restaurant, or tending to family needs, they took on work as drivers with Uber and Door Dash.
Both O'Briens have lived and worked in the Chattanooga area for years. Jenni O'Brien was involved in operating both a medical office and a martial arts studio; and Justin O'Brien had many years in the manufacturing industry with Precision Machining Services.
In their lives together, in Soddy-Daisy, their focus shifted.
"We decided our dream revolved around our community... to create a space where everybody is welcome," Justin O'Brien said.
Now excited about their grand opening, they acknowledge they may have worked their business idea "a little bit backwards."
Jenni O'Brien's love of making handmade journals and stationery was their initial spark, as they wanted to create a space for her to showcase her work. That vision soon developed into the idea of creating a community space, where people could gather to make crafts, hold meetings or talk with friends.
But if they were going to have such a space, they thought -- it might be smart to sell coffee. And if they were going to sell coffee, maybe soups and sandwiches could work, too.
Currently operating as counter service, customers can order from a simple menu including soups, sandwiches and deli sides. The couple said they have plans to introduce curbside service and, ironically, are working to offer home deliveries through Door Dash.
OB3B is located at 8804 Dayton Pike, Suite D, opposite Williamson & Sons Funeral Home and in the same parking lot as Kay's Kastle. Hours are Tuesday-Thursday from 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3:30-6 p.m.; and on Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3:30-6 p.m. The restaurant is closed Sunday and Monday.